Where do you want to go?

Round Trip
1 Traveler

Deadline for REAL ID Extended to 2025

Published by FareCompare on December 12, 2022

deadline for REAL ID

Have you been dragging your feet on getting your REAL ID card? Well, you're in luck. The U.S. federal government has once again pushed back the deadline for state residents to obtain their REAL ID identification cards.

Initially they were supposed to go into effect in spring 2023, but that has been moved back to May 7, 2025. You read that right: there's more than two years left for you to get your nationwide security requirements for driver's licenses and other ID cards in order.

What Is REAL ID?

Once it goes into effect, all U.S. travelers over the age of 18 that take domestic commercial flights within the country must have a driver's license or other state photo identity card that is compliant with REAL ID. Beyond air travel, REAL ID will be required to access certain federal facilities as well.

REAL ID is marked by a special star on the top of the card. However, keep in mind that passports and other valid forms of approved ID will still be accepted.

The deadline for REAL ID was pushed back because, according to the Department of Homeland Security, the "lingering impacts" of the COVID-19 pandemic affected internal timelines and other processes. State driver's licensing agencies were stuck working through a backlog that surged during the pandemic and that continue to persist, the department commented in a statement.

The extension is intended to give states more time to implement all of the requirements of the REAL ID Modernization Act, particularly as they relate to the submission of electronic documents. The move toward minimum security requirements for travel documents dates back to 2005, when Congress passed the REAL ID Act following the recommendation from a 9/11 commission.

In a FAQ section of its website, DHS clarified: "All states are on track to begin issuing compliant licenses and IDs" by the May 7, 2025, deadline.
What's more, "Enhanced Driver's Licenses (EDL) issued by Washington, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Vermont are considered acceptable alternatives to REAL ID-compliant cards," as stated earlier this month.

How Can I Get a REAL ID?

Don't yet have a REAL ID? The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises that you visit your state's driver's licensing agency website to find out exactly what documentation is required to obtain it.

At a minimum, you will need to provide the following documentation showing:

  • Your full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Two proofs of address of your principal residence
  • Lawful status
Want to Learn How to Save More Money on Travel?
Start Here

We are updating our Cookie Policy. FareCompare will use cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and product selection, analyze your use of our services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide deals content from third parties.